The Cookstown 100 organisers have this morning shared an official club statement following the shock announcement last night (Thursday February 9) that all major 2023 road races would be cancelled following an ‘untenable’ insurance premium increase.
The insurance hike has effected all motorcycle road racing, short circuit racing and trials in Northern Ireland putting paid to popular races North West 200, Tandragee 100, Armoy Race of Legends and Ulster Grand Prix.
The statement issued by the club said: “Most of you all will be now aware of the news that broke last night in relation to the Insurance cover needed and the prices involved to be able to allow events to take place throughout Northern Ireland, as such the governing body had no option, after consultation with organising clubs, only to reject the quote provided for insurance due to the financial risk it placed upon clubs and organisers, this was a unanimous decision taken by organising clubs after much debate and efforts to find a solution took place!
“As a club we had also been seeking insurance independently for the Cookstown 100 event as a stand alone policy as a plan B, however this was not an easy task and currently have exhausted all available options, due to the same issue arriving with the costs involved and also some insurers not willing to take the risks, therefore not providing a quote to us at all!
“It is therefore very hard and with much sadness, I have to announce the cancellation of the Cookstown 100 event in April 2023!
“As always the club will keep fighting and consider applying for a date later in the year before government deadlines for applications close for certain factors involved, in the hope that more viable insurance premium can be gained for the later half of the year by the governing body if possible, however time has completely ran out for us to commit or proceed organising for our April date in the off chance of a better insurance quote being gained!
“In regards to packages, if you can give us a few days to gather our thoughts, we will start issuing refunds as promised should the event not proceed due to cancellation!
“Our apologies to all those effected by this news, as a club it has been completely taken out of our control and are completely devastated that things have came to this point.”
The news has understandably sent shockwaves throughout the biking community with many taking to social media to vent their frustrations, as well as, to offer support to the clubs.
One person said: “All I can say is I’m gutted for our sport and devastated for riders, teams and club members across NI and the South. I for one don’t want any reimbursement or refund for packages etc.”
With another commenting on the unfortunate loss of revenue that the races had previously generated: “Such a shame. With the large loss of revenue to ferry companies and airlines alone, never mind local economies, one would hope that money could be put forward by some to save the largest spectator sport in Ireland, North and South”.
Over the years, the Cookstown 100 has maintained an excellent safety record with just one fatality in the 94 years of its existence.
It has however, been vocal about the financial pressures associated with promotion of the race in particular stating that costs have ‘escalated greatly in recent years’.